Monday, August 31, 2015

Lion Cub Babies on the Way! - History of Our Lion Pride

So, yes!  Wonderful News that Our Sukari is pregnant!   I am really looking forward to this event. I missed out on seeing Jahari and Kimani for much of their growing up, and I regret that.  Seeing Skylar/Leanne's Cubs grow up has been one of the best experiences of my life.  

Its very curious that the Zoo announced this pregnancy.  I actually can't think of any others that they have.  There are ones as regular Visitors you will hear about, but most times, its pretty much a surprise.  You show up and hear about it.  For what reason the Zoo doesn't usually announce pregnancies, I'm not sure.  There are so many other Zoo's who not only do, but have viewers online waiting for births via webcams.

One thing I read in the announcement, via the Zoos Animail Newsletter, that really upset me, was the non-mention of our passed Tunya, as Sukari's original mate.  The Zoos spin version of facts is noted that Sukari came to the Zoo to form a Pride with Jahari and Amanzi.  

I feel like Our Tunya has again been disrespected by the Zoo.   So, I want to tell the History of Our Lions.  In doing so, you will also learn more about Sukari and her other babies, as well as GrandBabies.

In 1997, the Zoo acquired three Lion Cubs from South Africa.  Tunya and Amanzi arrived together and Kita joined them the following month.  Together they would form a pure line African Lion Pride.

Until the most recent Lion Studbook, I had been told they came from a breeding facility.  The later information puts Tunya and Kita as wild born and Amanzi as captive born.   I always wondered about them being so young when they arrived, all under six months old.  So, not only were these babies taken from their Mothers too early, Tunya and Kita were taken from the wild.  When I learned more about breeding facilities, I was sad for them.  When I learned two were taken from wild, I was even sadder, wondering what happened to their Mamas. 

The three lived together as a Family in Grotto D, where Snow Leopards are now.  I was so happy to meet them, my first Cubs. They were so fun to watch.  Kita once rolled a ball over to me as if to say, play with me.  I would have loved to played with them and envied the Keeper who I saw in with them regularly.  She would roll around on the ground with them, jumping all over her.  Loved them!   

Amanzi became pregnant, but sadly her babies didn't survive.  In 2003, Kita gave birth to four Cubs, two survived.  A fifth undetected and undelivered Cub, didn't make it and also claimed the life of Kita.  Her two babies, Jahari and Kimani, were hand raised.  Tunya never got to be a Daddy to them. He and Amanzi continued to live together.

When Jahari and Kimani reached maturity, they were separated and Kimani was housed with her Papa Tunya, and Jahari was paired with Amanzi.  This is where the disrespect of Tunya begins.  Tunya, not only loses one of the girls he grew up with, but also has Amanzi taken away from him.  In an effort to keep Jahari from being transferred to another Zoo, the Zoo decided to take his Papa's love away and put them together.  Jahari and Amanzi love each other, but on an emotional level, I just think this was a really awful thing to do.  I watched for years while inside the Lion House, Tunya look down that rooms to see Amanzi with Jahari.  he would just stare at her endlessly.  Even though he loved Sukari, he did this til his last day.  It was heartbreaking.

In 2010, the Zoo entered into a swap with the Tautphaus Park Zoo, Kimani for Sukari.  It was sad to see Kimani go, but Tunya would be getting an actual girlfriend :)   Although once I learned more about Sukari, I felt bad that she was being separated from her hubby there, Dahoma.  The way Animals are moved around inside and transferred out of Zoo's is often very sad.  I know they aren't thought of as emotional beings, but they are.  Especially if they are bonded pairs.  Don't even get me started on the Zoo's disrespect of the Duikers.  You can read about it at the link, if you're interested.

As I had done with most the Zoo Friends, I started my research on Sukari before she even got here. At Tautphaus Park Zoo, Sukari and Dahoma had two litters.  Each litter producing a Male and Female, in each one, only the Females survived.  Both were hand raised.  I don't know why.  M'fisha and Ahadi, both were sent to Omaha Zoo to join an established pair, Nala and (Mr) Big.   in 2012, sadly Nala passed.  In 2013, Sukari became a Grandma for the first time, when M'fisha gave birth to five Cubs.  In Fall of 2014, Ahadi gave birth to three Cubs.

My research even uncovered something that the Keepers and Animal Management Staff didn't know. Our Amanzi and Sukari were Half Sisters, sharing a Mama, Angie who at 20 years old, is still living at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. Sukari's Papa was Elson, who was well known for being a wonderful Father.  Sadly he passed several years ago.   Another Family connection.  Big, the Father of Sukari's GrandBabies is Amanzi's Brother from a different Father.  

I used to make themed Zoo Friend themed hats and did one to celebrate this connection between Our two Beautiful Girls!

I remember there being a delay in the transfer and it was longer than the month of quarantine that Tunya had to wait.  He was so sad being alone.  It was heartbreaking.  I remember one time talking to him in the Lion House and telling him about his new girlfriend.  He looked at me so intent.  I blew him kisses and he tilted his head back and made a chuffing sound, like he was sending kisses back.  

When Sukari was finally out on exhibit, I was so excited to see her and so happy that Tunya had finally got his girlfriend.  ...  She was so shy.  When the Lion House was open, most often she would be in the back hiding.  It took months for her to finally be comfortable.  

In early 2011, just a few months after her arrival, myself and my friend Lee started making Enrichment Toys to the Big Cats.  Those Toys were instrumental in helping Sukari feel comfortable. For the first several months, she wouldn't come out at all.  The Toys just sat in her room, while everyone else played.  She got into them once the Lion House was closed.  One time I saw out of the corner of my eye, her reach out, grab one and pull it into the back.  It was so funny, but great that she took that step.  When her Birthday came up, we had a huge party for all the Big Cats.  Sukari would sit in the tunnel that led from the Lion House to the Yard.  I suggested to Keeper Barb that we put her Cake at the tunnel door, so when the door was opened, she would see it before she ran off.  Knowing it was there, she would come back.  It worked exactly how I thought!

SO, unlike the spin story from the Zoo, Sukari didn't come to the SFZoo to be a part of a Pride with Jahari and Amanzi, she came to be with Tunya.  

Please view this sweet Video I made of my Tunari :)

This pregnancy really is a near miracle.  We were almost destined to never have Lion Cubs.  In 2010 after Sukari had been here for awhile, then Keeper Debbie Marin, witnessed Tunya and Sukari mating. She made a call that ended with the pair being separated and Sukari being implanted with birth control.
They put Tunya with an uncontracepted female, what did they expect was going to happen?  Its not like they weren't mating when no one was watching.  

The details surrounding this action (as told to me), were based on old information that was never updated in the records. 

So, her action left Tunya alone again for months while the implant took.  He went on a semi hunger strike, lost weight, and sat separated by fencing, crying out for her. As well, it ended any chance he had of ever being able to be a Daddy to Cubs. It also, until now, almost ended our Lions genetic line.

Both Amanzi and Kimani had been implanted, at least six years ago, and neither has become pregnant to date.   The birth control is supposed to be yearly.  Probably to move forward with breeding if the SSP gives a recommendation, which is decided annually.  After several years had passed and none of our females had become pregnant, I asked if that was common.  I was told that so far, on the birth control that was being used in US Zoos, in over four years only one had become pregnant.  I researched this on my own again last year, and found nothing.  Coincidentally this article came out recently.

Back to the issue that is, why they didn't want Sukari and Tunya to breed.   I mentioned that I was told it was based on old information, that said, the old information, didn't even make sense.  There were two reasons given, Tunya had been diagnosed with a disorder to his neck (I believe), and they weren't sure if it was hereditary.  By 2010, it was determined that it was not hereditary and Jahari was cleared to breed.  So, if it wasn't hereditary, then there was no reason Tunya couldn't breed as well. Therefore, there was no need to separate and implant Sukari.  I then heard a ridiculous excuse that by breeding, Tunya could injure himself.  If he and Sukari were housed together they were going to mate. If that action could harm him, then what were they doing all these years housing him with females?   Allowing a pregnancy, was not going to harm him.

When Tunya passed in 2012, in an untimely and curious death, that left Sukari alone. Jahari had a breeding recommendation and for a short time prior, the Zoo had been introducing him to Sukari. Something I didn't think was a good idea.  Having Jahari's scent on her, and then putting her back in with Tunya, I didn't think was very considerate of his feelings, but then the Zoo doesn't care about such things.  I've witnessed Tunya pining for Amanzi for years, and again when he was separated from Sukari.  He has feelings.  All the Animals do.  

The good thing to come from that introduction was it was one step closer to being able to introduce Sukari to Amanzi and create a Pride between the three.  Thankfully Our Amazing Amanzi welcomed Sukari and with Jahari they became a Family.

Now, with this birth, Tunya's genetic line will continue to grow :)  I have always been sad that Amanzi never got to be a Mama, now hopefully she will get to be an Auntie and these two Precious Ladies can raise the Cubs together :)

Name suggestions.  Tunya.  Elson.  Kita.  Cecil.   I love names that have a meaning.  Unfortunately the Zoo will probably auction off the names and they will end up with unfitting names.

PS  After writing my name choices (which I've had since first hearing of impending Cubbies), I went looking to see if the Cubs from Cheyenne Mountain Zoo had been named.  They have!  Good to see names that mean something.  Boma, Aslan, and Elsa.  When I heard Elsa, named in honor of her GrandPapa Elson, I started to sob.  So wonderful that Elson will live on through her.  ...  Their Mama Lomela is also the Daughter of Angie, making her Sister to Sukari and Half-Sister to Amanzi.  Here is a link to an article about them, including a mention of the birth control issue with Lomela.

Joint Zoo Meeting - 7.23.15 - Primate Expansion, Chimpanzees Shafted!

This meeting was the first opportunity I would have to ask about a Chimp Update. As noted in a previous post, Director Peterson would no longer entertain my correspondence and suggested I, "bring it up at the Meeting."  Unfortunately, Director Peterson was not there, but I was prepared to bring it up anyway.

Deputy Director Joe Fitting, did a presentation called Primate Update.  This presentation focused specifically on the plans for the Sifaka Lemur, Chimpanzee and I'm pretty sure he mentioned Orangutans.  Note, we do not have Sifaka Lemurs or Orangutans in the current Animal Collection. He went through the layout of the exhibit using a photo that I think was a repeat of this one I've posted before.  

At the end of this presentation, I asked What the Timeline for the Chimp Upgrade is.  He answered that he thought it would be Spring of 2016.  I was about to question further, but then VP of Animal Care, David Bocian interjected and said that the projected completion for the Sifaka's was Spring and the Chimps, Fall 2016.  

I was pretty livid at this answer, but didn't go further in the Meeting time.  After the Meeting I approached Bocian to question further.  The next text I add will be a share of what our conversation covered.  I apologize for not formatting it in a dialog, but I don't have time for that.

I asked him Why the Chimps were being done after an Animal we don't even currently have?  He said that a Donor came forward with funds for the Sifakas.  I said, but the Chimps are in need, and without doing the upgrade to bring in more, they are still vulnerable to being moved, if we lost one.  He said, that they are all healthy.  I said, that's great, but my concern is still, if something were to happen and we got down to two, and no place to house additions, they could still be sent away.  He said, that the Zoo was committed to keeping them, and that it was "something" that they were even staying.  I reiterated that the Chimps should be the priority.  He said that when a Donor comes forward, you don't say no. I said, you don't have to say no, but you could say, thank you and when we finish for the in need Animals that already live there,  we will look at building for new Animals.  He again repeated, that is was something that they were even staying.  

I then questioned him about the suggestions for the state of the current enclosure that I had sent to Director Peterson, who said she forwarded them to the Curators.  He didn't seem to know what I was referring to, so I went over two things I felt were most important.  The addition of a tree lined barrier, to filter direct eye contact from the Chimps viewpoint and a foraging mound.  He didn't think a tree lined barrier was necessary, and denied that Cobby is upset by Visitors.  I described many instances, and supported this idea by quoting the AZA habitat guidelines.  Mr Bocian's opinion was that I didn't know the difference between Male displaying and being upset.  I assured him that I indeed knew the difference, as one example is when Zoo Shitheads are heckling him and another is when he see's the Keeper coming.  He then noted that Visitors complained once (seriously how many years a go was this?) that the tree's were in the way of viewing the Chimps.  I noted that I don't believe that to be true, as the Chimps are rarely on the ground which would be the only part of the enclosure that would not be directly visible, but yet not completely shielded.  I used the potted bamboo plants at the Snow Leopards as an example.  I then challenged him to bring down some of the many potted plants in holding and give it a try.  Moving on I asked why they still use that old metal twigging box, when several foraging mounds have been fabricated for other areas.  Why can't they have one?  Didn't really get an answer on this.  

Those suggestions and others were noted in a previous blog post, if interested in further details.

I very much appreciate that he took the time to talk with me about these issues and some other things, but there were a couple things that irked me.  I don't think I've ever directly spoken to him, but in light of the News story on the Chimps, I'm pretty sure he knows who I am.  So it was a bit odd that a few minutes into the conversation he asked me who I was.  The thing I had to bite my tongue on was when he twice said, that is was something that the Chimps were even staying.  I'm sorry, I don't in anyway mean to sound pompous, but I literally felt like saying, No thanks to you or anyone else on the Animal Staff.  I don't need accolades, but those Chimps would be gone, and possibly dead if I didn't launch a Crusade to save them.  Not one person on the Zoo's Staff who knew about this, especially at Animal Management level, that is he and Primate Curator Corinne MacDonald, did anything to help them.  I was their sole savior. Yea, there will be nay-sayers, but a fact is a fact.  My Crusade and the public outcry it generated with the help of the KGO I-Team, are why those Chimps did not have to leave their home. I know from my Media adventure in that effort, that there is an open Anonymous communication between Staff and Media.  At any point, anyone who knew about this could have contacted Media anonymously and done exactly what I did for them.  And the fact that I just happened to get wind of the situation, and it was late in Director Peterson's game to kick them out, they should be ashamed of themselves for not doing a damn thing.  Sorry, but I'm not going to sugar coat the fact of it.

Two other topics covered at the Meeting that I want to comment on.  

Fitting was all a glee about the high attendance for Zoo Camp this Summer.  Why is a Zoo representative more excited about Zoo Campers than the Animals?  I'm sorry but I understand the need for all these other things to bring in money to the Zoo, but not at a higher priority than the Animals.  

Fitting also brought up the Terrace Cafe renovation into a Pizza Place.  I questioned how much this renovation would cost and was told $30k.  Before I could ask, I was told that the Zoo was not paying for it, that the Concession Co. was.  I don't know if this is true, as I did ask several Employees in Concessions about this and was told, they were sharing the cost with the Zoo.  Regardless, I don't think this is a priority.

So, there you have it.  Chimps will not see a Upgrade until Fall 2016 at the earliest.  Nineteen months after Director Peterson made promises to them.  Were those actual promises or just smooth talk to calm public outcry?

If anything you read moves you,
Please contact the SFZoo Director
Tanya Peterson

Zoo Director's Trip to Borneo - Hypocrite, Conservationist or Conniver?

When I was at the Zoo on World Lion Day, I heard mention of this.  Not long after a friend sent me the Zoo's Animail Newsletter, which I've taken this screen-cap from.  

My thoughts, may be food for yours.

First, in relation to my last post about the Zoo not only holding an Event with Palm Oil users KIND Bars, but also distributing Palm Oil filled Candy at their Halloween events.  ... What are we to believe about the Zoo's position on Palm Oil?  Is this just more "keeping up with the Jones" of the Zoo world?   Is it just a way for the Director and Curator MacDonald to get a free vacation?

Is the San Francisco Zoo Director Tanya Peterson's goal with this to propel her underlying agenda to bring in Orangutan's?  

* We know that Peterson allegedly, was ready to sign off and ship off our Chimpanzee's, with the notion of bringing in Orangutans.  That plan was foiled by the rain of public outcry via the Media attention my Crusade for Our Chimps got.

* We know that the Million Dollar Donation for the Chimp upgrade, was noted by Director Peterson to be from a Donor who wants Orangutans.

* We know that all Future Exhibit plans list Orangutans as part of the plan.

Who paid for this trip?  ... I was told funds may have come from a Donor.  Could that Donor be the same one who wants Orangutans brought here?

Will Zoo Director Peterson forge ahead with plans to bring in Orangutans, at the Chimps expense?

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Kind Bar Event aka SFZoo Allegedly Supports the Murder of Rain Forest Animals

I look at the Zoo's FB maybe once a week/ten days, just to see what upsetting things they are posting. They never fail me. :(  

This really upset me.  They featured a whole Event with KIND (bars).  What's wrong with that, you say?  KIND Bars contain Palm Oil.  Palm Oil Sourcing Kills Animals and their Habitats.

The sourcing of Palm Oil is by burning down the Rain Forests with the Animals still alive.  The highest profile Animal this effects is the Orangutan.  Here's one of their Victims.

I know its shocking to see if you have never seen it, but its also shocking that an Animal Facility such as a Zoo in a City such as ours, would support any Product/Company that uses Palm Oil.

In addition, every year (even though I've blogged about it before) the Zoo still to serves up many different Palm Oil Candies at their Halloween Event.  Never fails.  I look at every Candy at Every Boo at the Zoo Event and Sad to see those that have Palm Oil.  Shameful.

Are the Donations from these Companies so needed that they want their name associated with this huge Crime Against Animals?

Update 7.24.15 ... I want to add this in because I thought I should when I wrote this, but didn't because after extensively corresponding with Palm Oil issue experts, it is the conclusion from both sides, that there is no such thing as Sustainable Palm Oil at this time.  I know this, but in case others do not and research product companies, to find they claim to use Sustainable.  I have personally rooted through BS from such companies to find out that they only go by what they are told by the RSPO and that they aren't even practicing using it yet, only committing to "rolling out in 20XX".  I thought I would post this.  You can learn more at the link in the ScreenCap or by doing an internet search, there is much to read on the subject.

As well, a Member of my SFZoo Friends Facebook Group posted this link from another blog.  I've read this blog and this blogger documents her interactions with these companies.

If anything you read moves you,
Please contact the SFZoo Director
Tanya Peterson

Zoo Visit 5.13.15 - Update on Gauhati, Spying on Sculpture Garden, Farm Renovation, ....

Starting with an update to my previous post, wondering what's going on with Gauhati.  This is the third week he has been off exhibit.  Now there is a sign.  

Granted many Zoo Staff talk to me begrudgingly, if given the opportunity I will still ask questions. The past couple weeks there was no one around to seek answers about Gauhati.  Right after I saw this sign, I saw the head Vet Dr Graham approaching.  I have spoken to him only a couple times before, but that was before I became public enemy number one in 2011.  So, when I made an effort to stop him, he looked at me like deer in the headlights.  I asked, if Gauhati was okay.  He stuttered in answering, "He's fine".  I said, "Well, he's been off exhibit three weeks, and now there is a sign". He then answered, "I don't know".  I said, "Huh.  You're the Vet and you don't know.  Ok."  and I moved on.  I know that Staff is on gag order not to talk to me, especially after the Chimp Crusade.  BUT here's the thing.  I'm a Member/Visitor, my questions must be answered like anyone else.  AND this is the Head Vet and his answer is HE DOESN'T KNOW!!! About and Animals Health?  Why does he have this job?  AND if this is his attempt at following the gag order, to him and to the rest of the Staff I must note, I am the wrong person to deflect and lie to, because I'm just going to write about you. Additionally, do these people really want me to again dredge up all the curious deaths and other Animal issues past and present?  I think not. ... Moving on, I then saw one of the Vet Techs who has given me answers in the past.  As she biked passed I asked, "How's Gauahti?"  I barely got an answer and I think its was "Ok".  So now this has become sort of a game for me, that I decided to ask anyone who came in my view.  I mean seriously, this is an Animal who has been off exhibit for three weeks and this is what they say?  So next up to bat is Visitor Experience guy Bob Cooney.  I asked him the same thing.  He paused and thought. Was silent and then said, "I don't have the right answer, so I won't answer".  I had to laugh.  I said, "So you don't have the PR words for me, so you have nothing".  He smiled in agreement and rode off.  I yelled back, "So much for my Visitor Experience!".  .. So alas no one could give me an answer as to what was wrong with Gauhati.  

Update:  Gauhati was off exhibit another week, but I did talk to someone who told me, he was having tummy issues.  Initially worrisome, but then after medication he was doing much better.  They never found the cause of it.  ... I was very happy to see him the following week.  Glad he's feeling better!

Both Chimp Grottos in use, North and Middle.  Enrichment looks pretty non-existent.  They got a bit of their regular browse, but their daily exhibit space is barren of anything to stimulate their minds for the day.

Took a peek at the construction for the Sculpture Garden.  Is that an Ant Mound I spy?  ... After seeing such fabrications in the Anteater's home, I have posted on this blog and on my Chimp blog, that the Chimps would love an Ant Mound for twigging.  Did they ever get one?  NO!  

The Children's Zoo closed both the Duck Ponds several months ago.  The one in the Family Farm has been converted to to more corals to use for Animal rotation.  One with substrate and the other will be grass.  Many new rotating areas for the Farm Animals.  Great additions.  I only wish they were around when my Friend Wakoda (Sheep) was still alive.  Yes, he like Wishbone (Andean Bear) is one of the Animals whose disrespect I'll never let go of.  I tried to get them to rotate Wakoda to other areas to Enrich his life, but no one was interested.  He lived in one stall his whole life, with not even a howdy fence to see other Animals. Shameful and Heartbreaking.

If anything you read moves you,
Please contact the SFZoo Director
Tanya Peterson

Zoo Visit 5.7.15 - Where's Gauahti? , Chimps Get no Love, Food Depot update, ...

Going back in time.  ... Returning to the chronological order of my posts in draft. ...

Some might wonder, why do I bother, since I'm so behind.  I bother because I have proven to be the only one who is not on Zoo Staff (and even that is not a given), who is observant to what is going on at the Zoo.  I care about the Zoo Animals and therefore I care about the Zoo being the best it can be. Out of that caring comes the need to express what I see as not right.  I feel that documenting everything, is the best way to do right by the Animals.  As well, it has on occasion proven to get a few things turned around. 

A follow-up from a previous Visit post in regard to the new dining area, The Depot.   Honestly couldn't believe that signs in regard to my concerns about the Corn Dog sticks, was put up.  Not the wording I suggested, which would be more ideal in just plainly getting the message across. Not the location I suggested either, which was at the register and having either the cook or cashier verbally repeat it.  Putting it on the garbage can assumes its getting to the garbage can, so that really does nothing for the issue.

Nothing new at Chimps :(   No upgrades in sight.  

What is in Cobby's sight is paint still peeling on his home.
Shame on Zoo for still not showing this building some love.
Still not showing the Chimps some Love.

 Chimp Enrichment.  Just saying.

A confusing attempt to trim the plant to expose the signage.

Lots of issues with the Tropical Aviary project.  But, I think seeing all the huge signs pimping the Animals, especially the Sloth, bothers me most.  They almost allegedly froze that poor Animal to death by neglecting to fix the Lion House heater for over six months.

The always curious question, why isn't there a barrier rope or something across the train tracks when the train isn't running?  I've seen people in there a few times.  ... Looks like another stake about to bite the dust.  There are a handful around the grounds that need attention.  Why the just remain falling or fallen is beyond me.

If anything you read moves you,
Please contact the SFZoo Director
Tanya Peterson

World Lion Day at SFZoo - Zoo Visit 8.10.15 - Part One

I want to get back to posting in chronological order, but since my last post was in regard to Hunting, set off by the catalyst of Cecil the Lion's Murder, I thought I'd continue with this post.  

I woke up the morning of August 10th and at the last minute, decided to go to the Zoo.  In the wake of so much sadness about Lions, I needed to see my Precious Lion Friends, Amanzi, Sukari and Jahari, on World Lion Day.  I also knew no one at the Zoo would wish them on this Day. 

Well, the Zoo didn't disappoint.  There was no indication anywhere at the Zoo that this was a Species Awareness Day.  Much like when I visited on International Tiger Day.  Infact the Zoo has only recently done something for World Rhino Day and that was after years of doing nothing.  They do have a new-ish sign in regard to the plight of Elephants.  Great Awareness, but we don't even have Elephants.  Sadly the way the pick and choose which plights to highlight, seems to be a "keeping up with the Jones" situation.  There is no reason there was not an effort to Educate about Lions and as well two weeks before, Tigers.

The Zoo continues to tout Education, yet thousands of people pass through the gates each day and especially on days designated for Awareness, one would think that some words about the plight of these Species would be posted or talked about.  What exactly is the Education they think they are putting forth?  So many illusions of grandeur in the minds of the Zoo Management.

There should have been Volunteers, Docents, Keepers, someone, posted at the Exhibit, educating Visitors about not only our Lions, but the plight of their Species.  The Lions should have had Special Enrichment.  There just should have been something, and per usual there was not.

With the recent tragedy of Cecil the Lion making international News, not alerting and Educating each Visitor about the plight of Lions being Hunted, is not only a waste in getting the word out, but a real shame.

I pulled these two Awareness efforts, one from the Oakland Zoo and one from South Africa.

If anything you read moves you,
Please contact the SFZoo Director
Tanya Peterson

Monday, August 17, 2015

The Hunted - A Few Words on Hunting - RIP Cecil

The days following my last post, days which I thought I'd work on getting caught up here, were filled with Sadness and Rage, with the News of Cecil the Lion's Murder. I knew since the last post I did write was in regard to my feelings about naming any Animal "Hunter", that I needed to write a bit about this tragedy.  Will try to refrain from using the vulgarity I normally would to express the extreme feelings I have about things that affect me so deeply.

Over the past couple weeks I have written so much on the subject of Hunting, whether it be Trophy/Sport, for meat, for culling, even that of commercial Fishing.  Expressing feelings with like minded Friends, in debate with "Facebook Friends", and battle others who don't agree with my position.   Everyone has their own opinions.  They have to live them, not me.

Over the past several years, I have handled how I view photos of Crimes Against Animals, that ambush me via Facebook.  I've unfriended people who post them constantly.  I've set-up a Group dedicated to only those, where Friends can post them and we can all view when we are prepared for the pain.  Still, there has been no way to completely get away from seeing these disturbing photos.  In recent months, it seems the Trophy Hunting photos are out of control.  Cecil's photo was the one that caught the World's attention, but my Soul is trampled every time I see some Smug Ahole, smiling next to the body of an Animal whose life they just took.  

Personally, I think anyone who kills an Animal and then poses next to it with a Smile, has serious mental issues.  

That includes those who legally Hunt and Fish under the guise of using it for food.  They too seem to get joy from the Kill.  In this day, there is no reason to allow Hunting or Fishing. If you're doing it for meat, guess what?  The commercial industry has already killed some Animals for us to eat. I'm bringing this up because a few days after the Cecil story, local news ran a photo of a Father and Son out Fishing and holding up the Fish they caught and smiling.  That really hit a nerve.

I don't want to be a hypocrite, I admit I have been on Fishing outings when I was younger.  At no point did I have fun.  These were Family and first Boyfriend outings.   Always an Animal Lover, in hindsight I feel extremely guilty and ashamed.  I've soul searched on this.  Was I just young and going along with it?   Never someone to not be outspoken, I find it curious.   That said, thirty years later and with more information about Animal Crimes available at our literal fingertips, there is no excuse to see the things we see today.   Everyone should know better.  Unless you just don't have the compassionate capacity to.

And to those who say certain species have to be culled to maintain population, screw that.  Its just another excuse for Blood Thirsty Humans, to get their Thrills, and the Government to make a buck. The Government should be doing humane culling, instead of letting a bunch of Yahoo's run around killing Animals and liking it.  But, they wouldn't make money off the licenses.

I also take aim at those whose jobs are in the commercial meat and fish industry.  I get that this is a job and someone's got to do it, but you don't have to like it.  I recently got into it with someone in regard to the TV show the Deadliest Catch.  Then I thought, you know, you are profiling without ever seeing the show.  So on the spot I pulled it up On Demand and within the first five minutes, saw a Fisherman laughing and disrespecting the Animals they just killed.  So, my profile was not in error.

I am not a Vegetarian (yet), although I do eat very little amounts of meat (I'm down to one only), and I feel extremely guilty.  So, this isn't meant to be a hypocritical or preachy statement.  My personal point is, while our Society is full of big-time meat eaters, those who kill the Animals don't have to take joy in it.  

What inside someone would make them enjoy watching an Animal take its last breath at their own hand?  

The circumstances around how Cecil was illegally Murdered (lured out from a protected area), has been a factor in public outrage.  Whether legal or not, Why are ANY of these Killings acceptable by anyone or by law?

Many of the Animals allowed to be Hunted are Endangered Species, whether on some official list or not.  Lions, Rhinos, Elephants??!  Good Grief,  There are movements to protect these Species from going Extinct and yet Humans are allowed to Kill them?   Lions are estimated to go Extinct in just 35 years.  96 Elephants are Killed each day.  There are species of Rhino that are already Extinct.  WTF is going on?

The World was outraged over Cecil's death.  Did the World just wake up?  There has always been legalized Trophy Hunting.  Thousands of unnamed Animals are Murdered each year.  This is not just happening in Africa either. Canned Hunting, where Exotics, including Lions are bred specifically so Rich White Folk can Murder them, is only banned in less than half of the United States.  Its estimated there are 500 such Hunting farms in Texas alone.  Shit, we even got a Presidential Candidate, whose Sons are big time Trophy Hunters.  Those Trump Boys are Despicable.   What does that say about the Empathy or Compassion that our American Society has and the future of it?

Our Society feeds the thirst of Thrill Killers.  Our Government sells them Licenses.  Our Media gives them TV Shows.  Companies market Video Games, Toys, Stickers, even decals for above Children's beds.  That's right, there is such a thing as "hunting wall decals for nurseries"

stickers and nursery decals

Its really sick.  Our Society Allows, Praises, and Celebrates Jubilant Murder.  And, there is no end to it, because everything these days is based on Greed.  Killing Animals and having Fun doing it, makes money.  How effed up is that?

So, where does that leave us?   

This all said, the San Francisco Zoo should request that the Donors who Paid to Re-Name Pele' the Red Panda, Hunter, choose another Name.

If anything you read moves you,
Please contact the SFZoo Director
Tanya Peterson